The rebranded Practice Code Numbering System (PCNS) brings greater transparency and alignment between healthcare service providers (HSP), the suppliers of healthcare and medical schemes who funds and facilitates the payment.

The practice code number is a unique number allotted to a relevant and registered healthcare supplier who renders services in South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho.

The service promotes a uniform, national and legally constituted HSP identifier for billing purposes and is an important aspect in the process of reimbursing claims to either medical schemes member or HSPs.

“We are releasing the first phase of our online services which will enable HSPs to submit a new application, and facilitate HSPs to link, view and update their existing practice code number,” said Head of PCNS, Lamees Scholtz.

Scholtz added that the PCNS Client Service unit serves as the point of contact which aspires to achieve first-time service resolution. The online service aims to be the primary platform in which HSPs engage the PCNS and enable them to query the status of their practice code numbers in real-time.

According to Scholtz, the legislative environment has evolved and thus the alignment of systems is necessary. “The PCNS serves the healthcare sector as a neutral party subservient to the constitutional principles of creating the right to access relevant healthcare services,” said Scholtz.

“The PCNS ensures that suppliers have valid accreditation and only allot a practice code number to suppliers who are registered, or licensed for independent practice, by the appropriate statutory body or licensing authority. The PCNS reviews and updates all healthcare services annually to ensure the adherence of accreditation for the ongoing facilitation of payment,” continued Scholtz.

The Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) of Southern Africa administers the PCNS in Namibia and Lesotho, and in terms of section 59 (1) of the Medical Schemes Act (Act 131 of 1998) and regulations 1 and 5, in South Africa.

According to the BHF, the rebrand of the PCNS is a commitment by the organisation to foster an enabling healthcare ecosystem through the use of information, ease of data exchange between all key health sector stakeholders and a connected, sustainable healthcare system for all healthcare citizens. BHF sees this as an important step towards improving the governance of the healthcare system.

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